Meet Thivya Viswamohanan, one of our shining stars in Sime Darby Berhad.
A Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) scholar, Thivya joined the Sime Darby Group in 2014 as a member of the Corporate Finance team in the Group Strategy department. A graduate of University of Melbourne, she recalls one of her earliest projects being a proposed acquisition. While the deal did not materialise, it was a great learning experience and set the stage for her bright future in the field. Since then, she has been a part of some of the Group’s larger projects, including the Group’s 2017 demerger and the acquisition of Gough NZ, which has now been renamed Terra CAT. The challenges and experience she has gained have been invaluable in shaping her to be a leader.
“I have been lucky to have jelf various roles and worked under many exceptional leaders, allowing me to develop many hard and soft skills. From financial, legal, compliance, operational, tax and safety knowledge to slowly developing my leadership skills and get better at managing stakeholders. My emotional quotient has definitely improved as I learn to navigate my own and other people’s emotions in the workplace,” shares Thivya.
In 2019, Thivya was provided with an opportunity to embark on a secondment with Hastings Deering in Brisbane. Without hesitation, she accepted and was enrolled in a "rotation" programme, giving her exposure to various aspects of the company’s operations. Thivya is currently seconded to one of the company’s joint ventures (JV), serving as the Commercial Manager, allowing her to further expand her professional horizons.
“The JV I am working at is focused on decarbonisation technology, and we are the global pioneers in this space. I believe in what we do, and I know my work truly has impact. If I can help commercialise this technology, we can reduce the carbon footprint of the mining industry. I love our planet, and I am happy that I get paid to spend time helping it!
“I appreciate Jeff Bezos’ fictitious Latin phrase ‘Gradatim Ferociter’. It means step by step, ferociously”.
As part of the JV, Thivya's days are dynamic and exciting, as the small JV allows her to wear multiple hats. Her tasks range from managing cash flows, assisting with commercial aspects of customer contracts, preparing for board meetings, reviewing journal entries and the trial balance, preparing monthly reporting packs, dealing with HR-related matters, tax filings, assisting with legal contracts, and dealing with suppliers, among other things.
When asked about what she loves about her job, Thivya says, "I love that every day is different, and I'm constantly learning. I'm surrounded by great mentors and colleagues who are willing to guide and teach me new things. I'm also able to work with different parts of the business, which has given me exposure to different areas and allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how the business operates."
"Believe in yourself and your abilities. With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to."
Aside from Thivya’s unwavering determination to strive for success, she credits Sime Darby for the relentless support and encouragement that has helped her reach where she is now.
"Sime Darby has been a great support system throughout my journey. From supporting my educational pursuits to providing me with opportunities to work with different parts of the business, I feel very grateful to be a part of this company”.
Thivya believes that more companies should invest in their employees and provide them with opportunities for growth and development.
"Investing in your employees is a win-win situation for both the company and the employee," she says. "The employee gains valuable experience and skills, which can be applied to their current job and future roles, while the company benefits from having a skilled and motivated workforce."
The bright scholar’s experience exemplifies Sime Darby’s commitment to be a platform for personal growth and professional advancement. From education scholarships to work opportunities within the various Sime Darby businesses, along with positive support from a people-centric culture, employees are given opportunities to grow and undertake challenging projects and roles, including opportunities to work overseas.
"Be open to new opportunities and experiences,” Thivya advises young professionals starting their careers. “Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. The world is constantly changing, and it's important to keep up with the latest developments and trends in your field."
“If you have a vision, work towards it slowly. Keep your eye on the prize and remember progress is better than perfection.”
It is indeed inspiring to see how Thivya has progressed in her career with the company and how she continues to excel in her current role at Hastings Deering.
With the right support and opportunities to aid a strong sense of grit and determination, we know our new generation of leaders can manifest their visions, grow in their chosen paths, and achieve their dreams just like Thivya — step by step, ferociously.